It’s always a cause for celebration when Illinois murder metal masters Macabre release a new album, because they do so incredibly infrequently, and because the band absolutely and completely slay. And kill. And tear apart… uh, yeah, you get it. They rule, and they sing about murderers, and nothing has changed on the wildly good new album Carnival of Killers, which the band is dropping tomorrow on Nuclear Blast.

To celebrate the release of Carnival of Killers, we caught up with Macabre guitarist/vocalist Corporate Death to find out what five heavy albums changed his life. We generally wouldn’t consider The Monkees “heavy,” but have you ever listened to a Macabre record? We weren’t about to question our man on his choices. Read on to find out what makes one-third of extreme metal’s most unique bands continue to slay, kill and tear apart.

This was their first album, from back in 1966. I saw their TV show every week as a kid. This is what started me playing guitar when I was 13; I said, “I want to do that!” There was no turning back at that point. I’ve sang along with the radio since I can remember. I always love to sing, but The Monkees started me wanting to play music and be in a band. I could talk about many other albums by The Monkees, but I only have five albums to talk about here. I bought all their albums on vinyl when I was young, but I had to mention this one because it’s their first album. Micky Dolenz is one of the most underrated singers in the world, and he’s one of my favorites of all time. I think all the the guys from The Monkees are great singers and inspired me so much for our music!

I got into The Beatles a little bit later than The Monkees, but they taught me how to sing harmonies on my vocals. I think The Beatles are the probably the best band ever! The Monkees were the American version of The Beatles; as well, they became friends with The Beatles. Micky Dolenz from The Monkees wrote a song at a party The Beatles had for them in England when they were touring the United Kingdom. Rubber Soul has a special spot in my soul because this is the album where I really got into vocal harmonies.

I heard the first Black Sabbath album way back in 1970. My cousin played it for me and I saw the witch on the cover and it scared the shit out of me. Years later, I would listen to Black Sabbath and pay attention their lyrics. This band inspired me more than any other band for heavy metal. I think that’s the way all of us feel in Macabre. Black Sabbath are the grandfathers of heavy metal—they invented it, I don’t care what anybody says. Tony Iommi is a huge influence on my guitar playing and there will never be another Ozzy Osbourne. They are my favorite heavy metal band of all time.

I really got into jazz fusion at one point in my life. This is the most tripped-out, radical music in the early ’70s. This was the most technical music of that time. Listen to it and try to play some, this stuff is amazing. I also like Al Di Meola and other fusion guys, but I only have five albums to pick here.

I picked this band to include a newer band. I love the vocals and the their style is very creative. It is hypnotic; the music and lyrics suck you in. I never saw them live, but I would have loved to see them. I hope they back together again. It is amazing music, and very technical.

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